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Search Tags: J.J. Green
J.J. Green, WTOP national security correspondent
A non-event is how Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Charelli describes the training that U.S. troops are getting on a new law allowing gay people to serve openly in the military. Most of the problems and trouble that had been predicted appears not to have materialized. The Pentagon has avoiding giving up details on the training because of concern that too much attention could enflame the issue. All of the training should be complete by mid august. Two point two million people need to be trained on the new regulation.
Pakistan learned a hard lesson after the Soviet-Afghan war ended in 1989 and the U.S. abruptly terminated its covert support for the Afghan rebels: A large portion of that support was provided through and with the help of Pakistan.
The Pentagon wants to better understand how military service affects those who employ members of the Guard and Reserves. The Department of Defense is surveying about 80,000 employers of all sizes across the nation. Guard and Reserve members currently comprise about 50 percent of the military's total strength, according to the Pentagon. Defense officials say they generally receive strong support from companies who employ Guard and Reserve members, who sometimes must be away from their families and their jobs for extended periods of time.
The white head stones and Arlington and Punchbowl and at many other cemeteries just sit there today, silent but proud monuments to the sacrifice that this country was built upon. Originally called Decoration Day, this is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Several cities lay claim to observing the first memorial day but on this day, from California to the New York Island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters every town village and hamlet honor those who proved Freedom is free but it ain't cheap.
The eight year sentence for Omar Khadr will stand. He is the youngest detainee at the Guantanamo bay detention facility. He was taken there when he was 15 in 2002. On Oct. 25, 2010 he pled guilty to charges that included murder for throwing a grenade that mortally wounded an American soldier in Afghanistan. A military jury at the U.S. base in Cuba recommended a 40-year sentence. But a pretrial agreement limited him to no more than eight years. The Pentagon official in charge of war crimes tribunals upheld the eight-year sentence on Thursday.
Who will be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? The Associated Press indicates "Two people familiar with President Barack Obama's search" indicate he's chosen Army Gen. Martin Dempsey. Pentagon officials asked about it declined to comment on it way or the other. Dempsey would be an interesting choice because he just started a four-year term as Army chief of staff on April 11. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen's term ends Oct. 1.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is trying to prepare the defense industry for a huge decline in defense spending. Fiscal concerns could cause the Pentagon to abandon some military missions, and reduce the size of the armed forces. He's preparing to retire next month and in one of his last speeches, he told the American Enterprise Institute, that the days of post 9/11 unchallenged defense spend are numbered. He said neither the money nor the political support are there.
U/S intelligence agents are on the hunt around the world for Osama bin Laden's associates. Fred Burton, VP of intelligence at Stratfor says, "the first step is the identification of the individual and the second step is what country are they located in and can you find them." Mullah Omar, Ayman at Zawahiri and Anwar al Awlaki are the top of the list. And if any of them are in Pakistan says Burton, "That's going to pose a unique problem at this time." That problem is restoring trust between the two countries in time to capture them before they disappear.
President Barack Obama has sent a blunt and chilling warning to Al Qaida. "We not only took out (Osama Bin Laden) the symbol and operational leader of Al Qaida, we walked off with his files." He called it the largest treasure trove of intelligence ever seized from a terrorist. "Today every terrorist in the al Qaida network should be watching their back, because we're going to review every video, examine every photo, read every one of those millions of pages, we're going to pursue lead," said Mr. Obama. He told an audience at the CIA, they're going to go wherever they have to go to finish the job.